filmmaker Neil Marshall
will be directing Season of the Witch
scribe Bragi Schut's The Last Voyage of the Demeter
— a project that THR
relates Schut wrote a decade ago and has been long-gestating. Directors like Robert Schwentke, Marcus Nispel, and Twilight: Eclipse's
David Slade have been attached to the film over the years — with Ben Kingsley and Noomie Rapace signed on to star last year, even — but The Demeter
never set sail. We hope Marshall is in it for the long haul, as his ability to craft a dark sense of claustrophobic, atmospheric dread in his 2005 creepy cave movie would translate perfectly for the Dracula
The Demeter, of course, is the ship that transports Bram Stoker's Dracula from Transylvania to London and arrives in port with a lone "survivor," the ship's captain who is bound to the helm with a crucifix in his hands. A captain's log is uncovered, and a massive dog is seen fleeing from the vessel — one of the dark prince's alternate animal forms. The log shares the strange and bloody story of the long voyage, recounting mysterious crew disappearances, the first mate's mental breakdown after being haunted by a tall figure, and a violent storm.
The ship's name is an allusion to the Greek earth goddess Demeter, who also presided over the life-death cycle and marriage. This is a nice link to the earth-filled coffins carrying the undead Dracula that protect him. The goddess' tale also portends Lucy and Mina's fate, as Demeter's daughter Persephone was swept into hell and forced to marry Hades, lord of the underworld — the place where she is forced to reside part-time, signaling the start of winter. Lucy and Mina too will soon find out what it means to dwell partly in the world of the living and of the dead, after their bond with the blood-sucking fiend. Stoker's symbolism is deliciously never-ending, but you get the picture.
Do you have faith that Marshall can lend the right kind of tension and atmosphere to The Last Voyage of the Demeter? Chime in with your hopes and fears for the project below.